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Monday, January 23, 2006


Super 14: Ex-players to assist drowning Sharks

Source: Sunday Tribune

Following the dismal performance of the Sharks in 2005, a group of ex-players has founded the Ex-Sharks Players Association (ESPA). Their aim is to play a constructive role and they will only advise on "rugby issues."

Chairing the Association is the former wing Tony Watson, who just a few months ago went ballistic and honed his vitriol on the Sharks boss, lambasting Brian van Zyl about the destruction of the Sharks brand and the appointment of Rudolf Straeuli as commercial manager.

Other former Natal players steering the organisation with him are John Allan, Mark Andrews, Errol Stewart and Craig Jamieson, all famous for being part of the team of the 90s, who are still revered in these parts.

Watson's criticism at the time was warranted, given the depths rugby had sunk to in the province and he, along with several former Sharks players, publicly vented their dissatisfaction.

"When we needed to be critical of the Sharks administration we were," said Watson.

"There were decisions taken that we didn't agree with. But now we are going to be involved with the Sharks Board and want to make a positive contribution, which can be done because we are in the structures."

"I think as ex-players we were all disillusioned with the way things were being done at the Sharks and especially what we saw happening on the field," said John Allan. "All we want to do is help out with the experience we have gained playing amateur and professional rugby," he added.

Mark Andrews said that the association would play a constructive role in Sharks rugby and would only advise on "rugby issues".

Good to see there are guys who care enough to become involved - presumably free of charge?  
Hopefully Corne and legend Fleckie will get involved at the WP and Stormers.

Great going Tony, Mark, john, etc.

All the best and good luck. We need everybody to be strong to ensure a strong Bok team.
it is great to see. ex players should do this more in all sports.


nothing short but the hand of god herself will help WP rugby...
This is brilliant news. I've been getting quite annoyed at the way Andrews and co have been chirping from the sidelines. Glad to see them rolling up their sleeves. God - can you imagine how much good it will do youngsters like Steven Sykes, Nicolai Blignaut and Alastair Hargreaves if the great man himself were to oversee their development...?  
veru true robd...  
Off the top of my head.....
If I had to pick my 3 favorites from the past 15 years...


Pieter Muller is also right up there.
i liked andrews - i wish more players had is 'hardegat' attitude  
indeed robd.

i rate himn as one of the best SA ever had.
Sean Fitzpatrick rates Andrews as the hardest bugger he ever played against. I don't think you get higher praise than that.  
Welcome KSA Shark!  
kandas - any chance of a match report of the Sharks' games on Friday? Were any of the guys there? The article on keo is one-eyed as ever.  
I'll see what I can do RobD.  

Ja Ja

If only the KwaZulu Natal newspapers were more helpful!!!
You're a scholar and a gentleman, sir!  
You see, answering you before you could even say something :)  
aj had a blinder too robd.  
You are too quick. The report on the sharksrugby site is equally one-eyed, alas. I'd just like a balanced view, if possible.

Sounds like Hall and Kokoali got onto the park at last. That's good news.

Not even the Sunday Times is writing about the Sharks!

I'll still see what I can do though.
You beaut!  
This bloody great news!!!

SA lags every other nation in terms of 'old boys' putting something back in for the love of it.

WELL DONE Messrs Watson, Andrews et al
ras - I wonder to what extent their assistance will be appreciated/encouraged by the powers that be, though...  
If these okes really want to help, they should put on their boots for 40 minutes one afternoon in the Tank?

Andrews handing out "pakslaes" to the Stormers = priceless!!
Yeah - And with John Allan back in the mix we might actually take some lineout ball again.  

LOL! Add Mark Andrews in the line-outs ;-)
Man - that Allan-Andrews-Atherton combo was lethal. I never saw them lose a ball.  

Ja, that Andrews Atherton combo was lethal and in the ruck/maul too. You had two genuine jumpers who could get into the trenches and get their hands muddied gritting it out with the hardest of them and in those amateur days the guys playing were much harder than the prima donnas we have today.
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